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Journal of Environmental Biology

pISSN: 0254-8704 ; eISSN: 2394-0379 ; CODEN: JEBIDP

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        Abstract - Issue Sep 2018, 39 (5)                                                                                                             Back

nstantaneous and historical temperature effects on a-pinene

Stable isotope analysis as a tool for determining seafood provenance


K. Gopi1, D. Mazumder2*, N. Saintilan3, F. Md. Yusoff4 and J. Sammut1

1Centre for Ecosystem Science, School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW 2052, Australia

2Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation, Locked Bag 2001 Kirrawee DC, NSW 2232, Australia

3Department of Environmental Sciences, Macquarie University, Sydney, NSW 2109, Australia

4Faculty of Agriculture, Universiti Putra Malaysia 43400 UPM, Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia

*Corresponding Author E-mail:




Key words


C:N ratio

Seafood provenance

Stable isotope analysis




Publication Data

Paper received : 08.09.2017 

Revised received : 25.09.2017 

Re-revised received : 10.11.2017 Accepted : 28.12.2017



Aim: To determine if stable isotope analysis is a viable tool for authenticating the geographical origin of seafood purchased from the market. The carbon and nitrogen isotope values of samples were analysed to determine if they differ according to their source.  


Methodology: One set of barramundi samples were purchased from three different markets and another set was obtained directly from a farm. Two sets of tiger prawn samples were obtained from the same markets as the barramundi. These samples were then analysed using isotope ratio mass spectrometry to determine their carbon and nitrogen isotopic values. 


Results: The barramundi samples showed significant differences between sources in both the δ13C (< 0.05) and δ15N (< 0.05) values. Similarly, the tiger prawn samples also showed significant differences between sources in the δ13C (< 0.05) and δ15N (p-value < 0.05) values.


Interpretation: This pilot study successfully distinguished between barramundi samples and tiger prawns from different geographical locations. We recommend that further studies be conducted with a higher number of samples, and multiple sites from different geographic regions, and to account for factors influencing the δ13C and δ15N values. This study highlights the potential of isotopic analysis as a tool for policy makers and regulatory bodies to verify seafood provenance and enforce industry compliance for source labelling of seafood products.



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